A meta-analysis of the goal-setting/performance literature



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A meta-analysis was conducted to more rigorously review the literature on the topic of goal-setting. Sixteen hypotheses were developed intending to provide the best possible test of the degree of empirical support for Locke's (1968) original goal-setting propositions. This study accumulated effect size measures and corrected their means and variances for statistical artifacts such as sampling error and attenuation due to unreliability. Considerable variance in effect sizes generally remained after the artifactual corrections were made. Between-study differences in methodology were examined to help to explain the variance in effect sizes. It was concluded that while support for Locke's propositions is strong, there is a large amount of variation in the findings reported in the literature - especially among the experimental studies. The implications of these findings on future research are discussed.



Motivation (Psychology)